A Wing-Like Roof Opens MPavilion 2018 to the City

Words by Anthony Richardson

Every MPavilion so far has looked at essentially the same brief in an entirely new way, and this year is no different. A sculptural form, timber battens, grass mounds, stone seating and plenty of plants not only helps Carme PinósMPavilion open up to the city but nestle into the surrounding gardens.


Today, MPavilion 2018 opened, designed by Barcelona architect Carme Pinós of Estudio Carme Pinós. Situated in the Queen Victoria Gardens, it provides a picturesque spot with the lush greenery of the grass and tree, three palm trees and the city skyline has a backdrop. If you haven’t heard of MPavilion before, it’s an annual summer pavilion, now in its fifth year. The pavilion plays host to a range of free public events and activities including talks, conversations, performances and more. The pavilion is commissioned by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, with the City of Melbourne, Victorian State Government and ANZ providing support. The theme of this year’s pavilion looks to celebrate building communities and women in leadership.

The design itself looked at origami as inspiration, with a ‘wing-like’ roof structure, where you half-expect the pavilion to fly away! Carme Pinós was not seeking to make a heroic statement but rather encourage movement and meetings, while opening the pavilion the city and nature. The roof is made of two-halves which intersects with each other, with a polycarbonate lining with timber battens on both the roof and ceiling. This design allows for a beautiful light-and-shadow show as the day goes on. Mimicking the typography of its surroundings, grass mounds incorporates seating, which also provides a place for the roofs to touch down.

Naomi Milgro AO, chair of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, who commissions the pavilion each year, said: “Working with Carme to bring her inspiring MPavilion design to life has been an absolute pleasure. Carme’s vision opens Australia to conversations about how to make our cities more inclusive through design. It’s a privilege to comision a work with such international and future-thinking insight.

Carme Pinós’ work spans large urban developments to social housing, along with public works. She also works with furniture, even designing stools for her MPavilion using hand-tinted birch plywood made in Spain. Carme has said on her design: “It is my honour and pleasure to have this opportunity to design a new pavilion for the Naomi Milgrom Foundation. It is a great responsibility to create a unique place in this special park with views over Melbourne—a city to which I have deep attachments. I am inspired by the fact that this new project will become a cultural destination for the city.

Carme’s MPavilion, whilst temporary over summer, will be gifted to the City of Melbourne and relocated to a more permanent location. Previous MPavilions can be found all over the city with; Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten’s at Monash University’s Clayton Campus, Bijoy Jain’s in the Melbourne Zoo, Amanda Levete’s at Dockland’s Park and Sean Godsell’s in the Hellenic Museum.

MPavilion opens to the public from 9 October 2018 to 3 February 2019. To see the summer program, and learn more, be sure to visit their website;

In designing this year’s MPavilion, I wanted firstly to make a space for the people to Melbourne to feel connected – to each other, to the city they live in, and to nature. We are all part of the world, and architecture can tell that story and provide a place for us to experience life together. I hope the MPavilion becomes a flow of knowledge and creativity this summer.
— Carme Pinós of Estudio Carme Pinós

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Project Name _ MPavilion 2018
Architect _
Estudio Carme Pinós / Carme Pinós | www.cpinos.com
Location _ Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne
Project Completed _ 2018
Photographer _
John Gollings | www.gollings.com.au
Supporting Architects _
Zilka Studios
Builders _ Kane Constructions + ACE Contractors
Building Surveyors _ Gardner Group
Landscape Architects _ Tract
Lighting Designer _ Ben Cobham of bluebottle

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